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Tioga County Sports Report
OWEGO — In a battle of all-state attackers, the senior got the better of the junior as Owego dominated rival Chenango Valley, 6-2, in STAC girls soccer action Monday night.

The River Hawks’ Erin McDonald registered a hat trick while CV’s Maddie Hayes was held to just one goal. Both players were named to the New York State Sportswriters and Coaches Organization for Girls’ Sports Class B fourth team last season.

Hayes has been a postseason thorn in Owego’s side the past two seasons. She scored a goal during the Warrior’s 5-4 shootout win in the 2021 sectional championship clash, then tallied twice as CV knocked off Owego, 3-0, in the 2022 title game.

Although she broke the Hawks’ string of shutout victories at four games, the stalwart Owego defense kept her in check throughout the evening.

That impressive defense also helped the offense create numerous scoring opportunities.

“Midfield and defense worked together really well this game to transition the ball up the field to our attackers,” Hawks coach Laurel Neira said.

That group included starters Alex Aubel, Kayla Coppage, Taylor Dalton, Cadia Fain, Jillian Lewis and Alexis Nelson, as well as a handful of reserves.

The first Owego goal came less than two minutes into the game when McDonald put a ball into the back of the net at 38:11.

Freshman Ashlyn Dalton, possibly the heir apparent to McDonald, looked every bit capable of that tag as she gave the Hawks a 2-0 lead at 31:54.

The duo would then team up for the team’s third goal as McDonald headed Dalton’s corner kick past Hannah Watson at 29:28.

Hayes would finally make her presence felt on a rebound shot with 16:42 left in the half. Owego goalkeeper Olivia Dodge made an impressive block of Hayes’ close-in shot, but the ball bounced back to Hayes.

McDonald picked up the hat trick, her third of the season, with 3:33 remaining in the half, blasting a ricochet shot off the left post.

She could have had four goals on the night, but the referee waved off an apparent score on a controversial call. She and Watson went for the ball near the edge of the goal and the ball went in, however, the ref said Watson had her hands on the ball before McDonald made contact.

Owego would tack on two more goals in the second half.

Watson never had a chance as Dalton scored easily on a penalty kick just 50 seconds into the period to make it 5-1, then Cassie Doane closed out the Hawks’ scoring with an unassisted goal at 14:27.

CV would put one more goal on the scoreboard as Tiffoni Schaefer tallied with 11:42 to play.

The Hawks took 19 shots to the Warriors’ 16 and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Dodge made seven saves and Watson had nine.

Owego (4-0) visits STAC newcomer Waverly (2-2-1, 2-0-1 STAC) Wednesday evening. The Hawks won their previous meeting in sectional play last year, 1-0.



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